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COVID-19 Updates
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8:47:58 AM

Areas in Canada with confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of March 27, 2020.
British Columbia 725, Alberta 486, Saskatchewan 95, Manitoba 25, Ontario 858, Quebec 1,629, Newfoundland and Labrador 82, New Brunswick 33, Nova Scotia 73, Prince Edward Island 9, Newfoundland and Labrador 82, Yukon 3, Northwest Territories 1, Repatriated travellers 13, Total cases 4,043. (11 presumptive, 4,032 confirmed including 39 deaths, 212 resolved).


New Process for applying for EI
Monday, March 23, 2020 at 2:03:22 PM

When the employee is no longer working due to a shortage of work because the business has closed or decreased operations due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Under this new EI Process the workers would be given their ROE, not being let go but a shut down of business due to the pandemic “shortage of work”

With regards to paying your workforce, I would recommend:
1. Use sick days first
2. Workers to use their vacation days
3. Complete EI Application and submit electronically
4. “Loan to Workers” (Yes, you could provide workers a loan if you choose, but would say they are to use the first two options)
5. If you choose to loan workers “wage advance” you will need to write up a small contract of how it is to be repaid, and should a worker choose to leave your employment they will be required to pay if full remaining monies wage advance owed by them.

Employment Insurance (EI) shortage of work you could receive 55% of your earnings.

When filing for EI workers can expect a two-week delay to get processed at this point after sending in their application.

Service Canada has received over 500 thousand new applications in the last 10 days. Workers will get back paid for the time missed but it will probably take longer than normal to process due to the high volume of applications being sent in all at once.


Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses
Friday, March 20, 2020 at 4:18:47 PM

See the link below for the EI process. The best course of action would be to sign up for the regular benefits, reason being shortage of work.

https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/ei-regular-benefit/apply.html

EI Regular Benefits - Apply - Canada.ca

5. Apply. Please review the eligibility criteria before starting your application.. To find out if you are eligible to receive EI regular benefits, you must submit an application online. It will take about 60 minutes to complete the online application. The website takes you step by step through the application process, and provides detailed instructions on how to complete the form.
www.canada.ca

You will need your SIN number, and banking information (same as on a void cheque for direct deposit purposes). You can find it on your online banking settings. They will ask for your branch/transit number and account number. If you cannot find it or need help please call your bank to verify that you are inputting the correct information. If you do not provide direct deposit information then Service Canada will send you bi-weekly cheques by regular mail instead of electronic direct deposit.

Your record of employment will need to be sent to Service Canada as well. Please confirm with management if this has been done electronically or if workers will be provided with their own record of employment. If workers will be provided with their own record of employment they will have to send it to Service Canada themselves at the following address:

Service Canada Centre
P.O. Box 2602
Mississauga, Ontario L4T 0B1

To begin the application click on the link provided above, click "Apply" at the bottom of the page, and begin answering the questions. They are straight forward questions, you will be asked to provide your general personal information, SIN, workplace information (address, phone number), reason for collecting benefits (lay-off for shortage of work), and payment information (rate of pay and total amount on your paycheques before deductions, see pay stubs for this information), if you do not have your pay stubs, talk to management to get them as soon as possible, it is important to put in accurate amounts as they will use this number to determine how much EI you qualify for.

If you need assistance while filing the application you may call Service Canada to speak with a customer service representative at 1-800-206-7218.

After the application has been submitted, Service Canada will redirect you to the page on their website that states "after you have applied"

This page will tell you that you will be sent a 4-digit access code in the mail. This access code will be used to submit your bi-weekly reports. Your bi-weekly reports must be filled out in order to receive payment. Further instructions on how to fill out these reports will be sent to you via mail with the document that has your access code on it. They will provide you a link to the online EI reporting service and give a step by step instruction on how to fill out your report. Payment will be sent by either direct deposit or regular mail (whichever was chosen on the application) approximately 3 days after your bi-weekly report is submitted.

T4E statements will be sent by regular mail for tax purposes. Any other questions or concerns can be answered by the customer service representatives at the number above.

Please note that hours of operation for Service Canada are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Friday. This is different than Service Ontario (please keep that in mind when calling and/or attending in person at various locations).

There is currently a high volume of EI applications being sent through right now on a daily basis, and the site may crash or not work from time to time during popular hours. You may also find a hard time getting a hold of customer service reps in the middle of the day.

If you need to call I would recommend calling first thing in the morning when they open to avoid delays. You may be stuck on hold for quite some time if calling in the afternoon.


Obligations for COVID-19
Monday, March 16, 2020 at 12:47:15 PM

Advantage Prevention Claims Management Inc.
507 Lakeshore Road East, Suite 207
Mississauga, ON L5G 1H9
Tel: 905-891-3474
Fax: 905-486-1675
Email: admin2@advantagepcm.com


EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS FOR COVID-19

The spread of coronavirus and global pandemic of COVID-19 have raised many legal issues potentially facing employers in today’s workplace.

Whether it be social distancing, calls to work from home, or a general fear that workers have in today’s changing environment, employers have a duty of care to their employees to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.

We at Advantage Prevention Claims Management aim to provide employers with the knowledge they need to navigate the continually changing economic landscape surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic.

A pandemic is defined as the spread of a disease across multiple continents in a relatively short period of time.

As an employer, what do you need to know about dealing with a pandemic?

• Your obligation to maintain a reasonable duty of care to employees remains. This includes providing a safe and healthy working environment for all employees in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

• An employer should provide cleaning products such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers, and anti-bacterial soaps, as well as respirators (masks) to ensure that workers are properly equipped to combat the spread of the virus.

• Employers should make sure that all employees are properly trained on techniques for hand washing and when, as well as how often, surfaces should be wiped down and cleaned.

• Workers also have an obligation to be vigilant and responsible. Workers should be washing their hands after coming into contact with hard surfaces where the virus can be active. Anyone who is feeling sick or develops symptoms needs to report to their manager on duty and leave the workplace immediately.

• Management should also be communicating with workers to see who may or may not be complying with the above actions

• If working from home can be accommodated, employers may want to consider this option for increased safety to workers

• If not, employers need to implement policies to ensure the cleanliness of the workplace is properly enforced and/or monitored to prevent the spread of the virus

CAN EMPLOYEES LEGALLY REFUSE TO WORK?

Employees do have the right to refuse work if they feel it is unsafe to do so. An employee is within their right if they think it is reasonable to avoid the workplace for the betterment of their health and safety.

The nature of this pandemic may not provide clear cut answers for anyone, as situations and information is constantly being updated and changed.

Employers who are facing the issue of employees refusing to come to work due to the pandemic need to consider the following:

• Is it reasonable to assume that a worker’s health and safety will be compromised by coming in to work?

• Can a worker be accommodated to work from home?

• Is there a work from home policy already in place and if so, how quickly can it be implemented?

Employers need to be aware of up to date information and keep their workers informed. Any refusals to come to work need to be met with caution and flexibility on the employer’s behalf during this confusing time.

If it is reasonable to assume that all precautions have been met and increased cleaning policies have been implemented, then an employer can still safely advise workers to come to work. Keeping workers minds at ease and providing a safer, cleaner environment will allow employees to feel calm and comfortable to come in.

ARE EMPLOYERS REQUIRED TO PAY EMPLOYEES WHO CONTRACT COVID-19 OR ARE IN QUARANTINE?

Employers are not required to pay employees who are off due to illness. Employees are entitled to a certain number of sick days per year based on the Employment Standards Act and other applicable legislation.

Human Rights legislation also states that employers cannot discriminate against employees for certain illnesses and require employers to accommodate employees with disability to the point of undue hardship.

Employers should keep up to date on changing provincial and federal government policies regarding this topic. Government may introduce new policies regarding work closures, quarantines, and worker pay, at a moments notice. It is important to keep up to date on what the government requires employers to do, as this can change day to day, even hour to hour, during this time of uncertainty.

CONTINUED SUPPORT AND UPDATES

Please continue to check our website for updates regarding how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic in your workplace. These situations are constantly changing, and different obligations may arise that were not in place days or hours prior.

Health and Safety is the most important thing when it comes to workers and everyone in a workplace for that matter.

Employers should be staying up to date on information in the news and any developments that arise.

Workers should be well equipped to combat the spread of the virus, and well informed of their rights. Everyone has a responsibility to keep the workplace clean and sanitary.

We are also aware that every situation is different, specific situations regarding worker refusals to come in to work and payment while off needs to be investigated and determined on a case by case basis.

The employer has an obligation to keep the workplace safe and healthy for the betterment of all workers.

Please contact our office at 905-891-3474 or by email at admin2@advantagepcm.com should there be any other questions or concerns regarding this pandemic and what employers need to be aware of.